PITB organized the Sanitation Hackathon 2012 in collaboration with the World Bank, a global event. Teams from all over Pakistan developed technical solutions to Water and Sanitation issues in Punjab and the teams from Fast University Lahore and Comsats Lahore won the 1st and 2nd positions.
The Punjab Information Technology Board (PITB) in collaboration with the Urban Unit, Planning & Development Department, Government of the Punjab, the Water and Sanitation Program, and the World Bank concluded Pakistan's first Water and Sanitation Hackathon.
Sanitation Hackathon was the first ever global gathering of sanitation experts and technologists who gathered for an intensive weekend dedicated to creating ICT solutions for sanitation challenges. Sanitation Hackathon simultaneously took place in Jakarta, Lahore, Pune, Dhaka, Dar es Salaam, Helsinki, Chicago, San Francisco, New York, London, Lima, and Cape Town-
Sanitation experts worked with local communities to define some of the most pressing sanitation challenges in each of those cities. Programmers, software engineers and data specialists teamed up to put their technical skills to work mashing up data, building on open source technology platforms and developed apps that would respond to those challenges, which the sanitation sector can put to use on the ground to aid the communities that need them.
The two day event covered some of the most challenging issues faced by the citizens such as:
- Complaint registration
- Certification of open defecation free villages
- Monitoring of street cleaning staff
- Detection of illegal water hydrants
- Location of sanitary manufacturers in rural communities
Students from leading institutes of Pakistan participated in this event, as listed below:
- Punjab University College of Information Technology (PUCIT)
- COMSATS, Lahore
- National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences ( NUCES)
- Beaconhouse National University (BNU)
- Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITMES)
- COMSATS, Islamabad
Some professionals from software houses also competed in the coding fest.
The Hackathon was a global event, being held simultaneously in 13 cities including Cape Town, Dhaka, Pune, New York, London, San Francisco and Helsinki.
Speaking at the occasion, Dr. Umar Saif, Chairman PITB, said that “this event was part of the Punjab Government's commitment to providing essential utilities to citizens in both urban and rural communities. This was the first time citizens actively engaged in developing solutions to real world problems and competed with to resolve the challenges they face every single day.”
The winning teams from Fast Lahore and COMSATS Lahore have been awarded six month contract with the World Bank to implement their solution with the utility company it relates to. In addition Dr. Umar Saif, gave the winning teams direct entrance into PITB’s incubation program PLAN 9 where they have the opportunity to develop their solutions in to entrepreneurial ventures.
The Hackathon took place among 25 countries around 400 teams participated and 29 teams made it to the voting phase. PITB developed android application T-Square (Toilet Square) which was validated and accepted for phase-2 of World Bank's Sanitation Hackathon (Global Mobile Apps Development Contest).